Friday, May 25, 2012

Baltimore Marathon 2000- I ran another...

So one year after running the Marine Corps Marathon, I decided to run another marathon- this time my future husband, Glenn, would not be joining me.  A sweet friend, Wendy, had decided to train for her first marathon so we did some of our long training together.  Wendy's sister had signed up for the race as well- this was Baltimore's First Marathon.  Most marathons are run in the fall and this race was scheduled for October. 

I'll admit it- I was not as disciplined with my long runs for this marathon.  I got my runs in between teaching high school math, coaching field hockey and caring for our first puppy, Lenny.  Lenny was a English Springer Spaniel who had a lot of energy.  We got him because Glenn and I also had a lot of energy and stayed pretty active between running, biking and backpacking.  Lenny was a good running partner especially on some of the trails in Columbia, Maryland.  Just like our new dog, Desi, he could run for about 4-5 miles.  So I was probably running more frequently than I did before the Marine Corps Marathon though my longest run was only about 18-20 miles.  But I was an experienced marathoner- right??

Our dog, Lenny
On the day of the race, I met up with Wendy and her sister at the starting line.  Glenn was going to bike the course so he could cheer me on.  God must have known (of course, He did) that I would need a running partner for the day.  Unfortunately Wendy had been running with an injury and was unable to finish the Baltimore Marathon.  Her sister stuck with her for most of the race and finished it. 

At the start of the race with thousands of people gathering around, I ran into an old friend from high school- we had met years ago when our families went to the same church.  I hadn't seen Tricia in years so she started the race with us.  I think I remember around mile 4ish that Wendy was hurting so Tricia and I began the next 20+ miles together.  The city of Baltimore is deceivingly hilly- the marathon started and finished downtown near the Inner Harbor but the majority of the race was run up and out of the city.  There were a lot of hills in the course (the next year they changed the course to not be so hilly).  Without Tricia by my side, I don't know if I could have mentally finished the race . 

Tricia and I
Around mile 22 I felt very good- knowing I could continue to push the next 4 miles and possibly break by marathon time from the prior year.  Tricia was struggling with sore knees so she decided to walk and finish the race on her own.  We never saw each other after the race- I don't believe I have seen her since that day.  I finished around 4 hours and 20 minutes.  My family was there to celebrate this achievement with me.

Looking back on this story I have learned a few lessons about God. 
1)  He is faithful even when we are not.  I was not following God at this point in my life but I remember the encounter with Tricia that day as feeling like a gift from God.
2)  He is faithful to bring us through disappointments.  Wendy did not finish her first marathon but went on to run lots of races becoming a great half-marathon runner.  She has also been accepted into the New York Marathon this year and will get a chance to finish her first marathon.  How cool is it that I will be there to celebrate with her when she crosses the finish line.
3)  He uses little moments to touch our lives.  I will always look back at this marathon and remember God's Hand in it.

So as I prepare for New York, I can confidently know that He will be faithful to see me through it- no matter what comes my way. 
Romans 8:28 "And we know that in ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose."

1 comment:

  1. I love how you write, "Without Tricia by my side, I don't know if I could have mentally finished the race . " I can imagine how that would be a blessing when running a physical race, and even much more so in our "spiritual race". It's amazing how we can look back on the dark days in life and say, "without ______ by my side, I don't know if I could have mentally finished."